Thursday, December 1, 2016




Two young brothers are left at home,
All by their lonesome selves,
The older one notices a new toy,
Sitting high up on a shelf.

He climbs up and brings on down,
What he believes is a toy gun,
He thinks about the games they’ll play,
Boy this sure will be fun.

He aims the ‘toy’ at his little brother,
And shoots him in the head,
But that gun was not a toy at all,
And soon the three-year-old is dead.

When a child dies,
All the stuffed animals cry,
Alone on a shelf,
They sit by themselves,
In a cold lonely room,
Like a final tomb.

Johnny’s tired of being bullied at school,
But every dog has its day,
Though all his classmates seem so mean,
Johnny will make sure they all pay.

The next day at school will be different,
From a knapsack he pulls out a gun,
Suddenly he starts shooting his classmates,
Shoots them in the back as they run.

Soon most of the class has been shot,
And their young bodies are lying there dead,
With one bullet left in the chamber,
Johnny puts the gun to his own head.

When a child dies,
All the angels cry,
The tears flowing down,
On the sad little town,
It’s a cold, cold rain,
But it won’t numb the pain.

For Jose this is the biggest day in his life,
It’s his gang initiation in the ‘hood,
He must seek out a rival gang member,
With a couple of shots he’ll be good.

Jose packs his piece and extra clips,
And his driver takes him to the spot,
He takes aim at his helpless victim,
And another is dead with just one shot.

But that one bullet it ricocheted,
You hear a young mother scream and cry,
As she realizes her young son is hit,
On a cold dark street he is left to die.

When a child dies,
The whole world cries,
All lives matter, big and small,
I ask you people, heed the call,
Please stop the hate, before it’s too late,
For the future of us all.



I wish it could be different,
I wish there was another way,
If only for the sake of your children,
I would have liked to stay.

I came into your life a few years back,
When you were looking for a man,
I’ve tried to help anyway I could,
But I’ve done all that I can.

Your kids took to me from the start,
And they always called me ‘Dad.’
You even told me more than once,
That I was the best they ever had.

But you just used me from the start,
And there were signs along the way,
Cheating and lies, barely disguised,
It was the same thing every day.

I just can’t go on wasting my life,
Giving you my best years,
Too many nights I ended up alone,
Lord knows I’ve shed some tears.

Your daughter’s at a tender age,
And I hate to make her cry,
It’ll be years before she understands,
Why it has to be goodbye.

Tell your son I’ll miss him,
And tell your daughter too,
I’ll have to say very frankly,
I hope they don’t turn out like you.

I offered you my heart and soul,
And you left it on a shelf,
The time has finally come to pass,
For me to take care of myself.

Don’t bother trying to look for me,
For I’ll have somebody new,
The one thing I can say for sure,
Is that someone won’t be you.



I poured out every thought upon the page,
Filling it up with all the rage and anger,
That you have instilled inside me.
My pen literally quivered,
As I held it in my sweaty hand,
Yet the words flowed swiftly,
As venomous as any snake,
And almost as deadly.
As I poured the last of the wine into my glass,
I reviewed my handiwork.
Three pages of anger.
Three pages of hurt.
An expression of all you’ve done to me,
As best as I possibly could.
I carefully folded the letter,
And stuffed it in the envelope.
And with quivering pen,
I wrote out your address.
It was late, and I’d post it in the morning.
I went off to bed that night.
The next day I spent quietly around the house.
It was cold outside,
And it was warm by the fire.
In the afternoon,
I opened another bottle of wine.
I sat pensively for some time,
Just watching the flames dance
Upon the logs in the fireplace.
Amidst the crackling of the timbers,
I picked up the envelope.
I stare down at your name upon it.
I take another sip of wine,
And remove the letter.
As I begin to read it again,
I am reminded of everything you’ve ever done.
All the hurt you’ve caused,
To myself and my family,
Comes back again over three pages.
My blood starts to boil again,
And my palms start to sweat.
There is a damp thumbprint on the page,
And the edges of the letter are damp and frayed,
From holding it tightly in my hands.
I lean back in my chair.
I know I am not ready to forgive.
I don’t know that I ever will be.
And God knows I will never forget.
In fact, I hope you rot in Hell,
And if I could deliver you there myself,
Lord knows, I would.
But, I can never stoop to your level.
I can never stoop to your level.
I sit for some time just watching the fire.
In a while, I pick up the letter,
And walk over to the fireplace.
I toss it upon the flames.
I sit back down and sip my wine.
And as I watch the letter burn,
The sparks cackling,
And the black soot fall upon the logs,
I know I can never stoop to your level,
But, there’s a part of me that says to myself,
“God, I wish that letter were you.”



ALAN W. JANKOWSKI is the award winning author of well over two hundred short stories, plays and poems. His stories have been published online, and in various journals including Oysters & Chocolate, Muscadine Lines: A Southern Journal, eFiction Magazine, Zouch, The Rusty Nail, and a few others he can't remember at the moment. His poetry has more recently become popular, and his 9-11 Tribute poem was used extensively in ceremonies starting with the tenth anniversary of this tragic event.

When he is not writing, which is not often, his hobbies include music and camera collecting. He currently resides in New Jersey. He always appreciates feedback of any kind on his work, and can be reached by e-mail at:

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